Bob Froehlich and Judy Hodgson on Why We Need to Attend the BOS Meeting Tomorrow

Assuming of course you can make it…

Here is a link to Judy’s Publisher note in the NCJ.  And below is a text from a broadcast email Bob F. sent out.  (Posting with permission.)

Thanks Judy and Bob (and Hezekiah) for your vigilance on this! … and btw, everyone else who has given time and effort to be active recently.  You are making a difference and helping to change the minds of people like, say, Richard Marks who apparently is only interested in these issues when a certain threshold of citizens are as well.  Who knows what that threshold is, but it would be nice for Richard to start speaking up on this catastrophe of a process as well.

“”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

The Sups finally got their agenda up for this coming Mon. and it looks like they will be reviewing the recent proposed Planning Com. GPU changes and perhaps giving them direction as to what to do now. Of course, Ulansey, Morris, and others who are voting with them, want more time to continue removing and weakening the environmental safeguards in the GPU.

 I’ve copied part of the Mon. Agenda in below. The full agenda can be seen at:
http://humboldt.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=3&event_id=321

Also copied in below is the letter the P.C. sent to the Sups. saying generally what they’ve done and asking for direction. The way the letter is phrased represented a win for our two environmental P.C. champions, Levy and Masten, because it does not specifically ask for more time which is what Ulansey and Morris wanted to do. 

So if you can make it to the meeting Mon. and speak to the Sups. putting an end to this current review by the P.C., that would be helpful for them to hear. If you can’t make it, writing to the Sups would also help.

You’ve probably all seen, and many of you have already signed, the petition generated by Hezekiah Allen (283 folks have signed up to this time) which I believe he will present at the Mon. meeting. This meeting should be a very interesting event…the citizens are aroused! The link to Hezekiah’s petition is below…reading the comments made by signers is a good way to stimulate you thoughts for presentations or e-mails to the Sups.:
http://www.change.org/petitions/humboldt-county-board-of-supervisors-restore-the-general-plan-update

See you there…in body or spirit,
Bob
__________________________________________________________________________
HUMBOLDT COUNTY COURTHOUSE
SUPERVISORS’ CHAMBER, FIRST FLOOR
825 FIFTH STREET
Monday, March 10, 2014
01:30 P.M.

A.     SALUTE TO THE FLAG

B.     PUBLIC APPEARANCES – 1:30 p.m.

C.     PUBLIC HEARINGS
Community Development Services

1.     Continued Board Review of the Planning Commission Approved Draft General Plan. In particular, the recommendations from the Planning Commission on the Conservation and Open Space Element (Chapter 10), a request from the Planning Commission for Further Direction; Chapter 4.8 Land Use Designations: Tribal Land; and Draft General Plan Schedule
__________________________________________________________________________

Just say no BOS!  You all are doing enough damage as it is.  Please keep Commissioner Ulansey's mitts off of it - he's had it long enough.
Just say no BOS! You all are doing enough damage as it is. Please keep Commissioner Ulansey’s mitts off of it – he’s had it long enough. (LJ’s comment, not Bob’s. He has more class!)
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16 thoughts on “Bob Froehlich and Judy Hodgson on Why We Need to Attend the BOS Meeting Tomorrow

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny to watch people brag about all the public input they generated by turning out their supporters for the PC and BOS meetings, while simultaneously they so loudly and bitterly complain that changes are being made with no public input.

    Whether the BOS sends anything else back to the Planning Commission or not, it is the Supervisors who will get the final say over the language of the GPU. So you will either continue to be able to offer your public input during BOS hearings, or if more elements are sent back to the PC, you will continue to be able to continue to offer your public input in hearings before the PC, plus you will then have another chance to offer public input again when those elements return back to the BOS. So by demanding that the BOS not send any other elements back to the PC, you are, in effect, demanding to have less public input.

    Meanwhile, if you succeed in persuading the BOS not to send much (or anything) else back to the PC, that will speed up the rate at which the BOS can finish up the GPU, which will increase the liklihood the final language will be voted on by the current Board majority, rather than the next Board — which could, at least potentially, include Kerrigan and/or Latour, in place of Bass and/or Sundberg. Seems like an odd strategy, unless you assume you’re going to lose those races, and that the current Board majority will only be emboldened by those outcomes. Which might be true, so if that’s the thinking, perhaps you’re onto something.

  2. MOLA:42 says:

    Anonymous 17:56:

    Did you just answer yourself? Generally a different “image” is presented by the name to denote a different “Anonymous” is posting. Perhaps I am wrong.

    Anyway, you got it backwards. The progressives are working toward an out come now 20 years in the making and (until recently) nearly complete. The jerking of knees is being executed by another party.

    Anonymous 16:47:

    You seem to be saying those anti-GPU change folks are hypocrites because they are trying to get less discussion going about the GPU. Golly.

    The discussion didn’t start happening until the Ulansey folks over-stepped themselves and pissed-off a major part of the community. Then boy did we have discussion! Until then it was a developer’s party held in an empty room. There was no discussion.

    I’m all in favor of public discussion but not as it was tried here: a brazen blind for making changes to fit a small group’s desires.

    Your objection is like when Ulansey tried to turn the tables on the pro-trail speakers by calling them “anti-disabled people” because the trails would not allow quad-runners.

    What can I say? Enough is enough. The Board of Supervisors should either (A) finish the nearly 20-year GPU process or (B) stop being hypocritical about it all and declare they don’t like the work already done, rip it up and start again.

    This death of the GPU process by slow torture has gone far enough. I think that is what the rest of us are trying to say.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Did you just answer yourself? Generally a different “image” is presented by the name to denote a different “Anonymous” is posting. Perhaps I am wrong.”

    I am Anon 16:47, but not 17:56. So yes, you are wrong. Anyone commenting anonymously without using an e-mail address has the same gravatar, the light blue-grey one.

    As far as the rest of your comment, that’s all fine and well, and it at least kinda-sorta addresses the first part of my comment, that those arguing against anything going back to the PC are in fact arguing for less public input. Which you don’t deny, instead you seem to be taking the position that the elected Supervisors and appointed PC members are supposed to just accept what was handed to them by the previous Planning Commission and vote on it. Fine, you’re welcome to that opinion, self-serving though it seems to me.

    But the second part of my comment remains unaddressed. As a practical matter there is just no way around the fact that hurrying the plan to completion now makes it far more likely that the current Board majority gets to take the final votes on this plan. Just saying: Careful what you wish for.

    If by some chance Bass and/or Sundberg are defeated, it will be amusing to see your allies change their tune and start squealing that the current Board majority shouldn’t be pushing to get the final votes done before the new Supervisors take their seats next January. And the irony will be on both sides, because last time we were in a similar position — when Clendenen had been defeated and Smith didn’t run again but they were both still in office for six more months — supporters of the newly-elected majority were saying that it would be unfair and disrespectful to the voters for the Lovelace/Clendenen/Smith lame-duck majority to push the plan through during their lame-duck session, in other words before the newly-elected supervisors Fennell and Bohn took their seats. And meanwhile the Lovelace crowd was saying they should go ahead and do it, that it was both their right and their “duty” to do so. As you may recall, that was the approach they were pushing right up until Jimmy Smith announced that he had to retire early and the Board unanimously supported the recently (overwhelmingly) elected Rex Bohn to fill out Smiths’ term, which put an end to the attempted lame-duck cramdown.

  4. MOLA:42 says:

    Anonymous:

    You are right concerning the “Gravitar” and I apologize.

    As to my “self-serving” argument that the BOS and PC both should just accept what was handed to them without question:

    The process has to mean something. If you can work diligently with the public for 20 years and then see a new BOS pull off a lot of naked maneuvering to pack the PC with people of your persuasion and have them do your rewriting for you (hopefully without scrutiny, although it didn’t work out that way) then what’s the point? Fine, stall for the next two or four years (or forever, who needs a GPU anyway?) then a new group can then take over and play it’s games until they are gone and yet ANOTHER new group can take over and…..

    If that is “self-serving” then guilty as charged. I want the GPU to serve me (and the rest of county) but it has to exist first to do that.

    I think I did address “the second part” of your comment. See above. But to rephrase, “Enough is Enough.”

    As for my “allies”… Wow, I’m moving up in the world.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “If you can work diligently with the public for 20 years and then see a new BOS pull off a lot of naked maneuvering to pack the PC with people of your persuasion and have them do your rewriting for you…”

    This is just the latest BOS to “pull off a lot of naked maneuvering to pack the PC with people of [their] persuasion.” When Neeley, Lovelace, and Clendenen were the board majority, they put the people they wanted on the PC and for the most part got the language they wanted from it. That’s what their Planning Commissioners were “diligently” doing when they had control, listening to the public input, accepting what they liked and ignoring whatever they wanted to. Same when the majority was Lovelace, Clendenen and Smith, — and they very nearly got to both have their appointed Planning Commissioners have the last rewrite of the PC draft, and also get the last crack at the GPU language as Supervisors. As described above, only Jimmy Smith’s sudden retirement prevented their “naked maneuvering” during Clendenen and Smith’s lame duck period from winning the day.

    So when folks like yourself or your allies (by which I just mean people advocating for similar things as you are, process-wise, or policy-wise) complain about the current Supervisors “packing” the PC with people “of their persuasion” it’s a bit hard to keep a straight face. Because, in effect, what you’re saying is that the preferences of the previously “packed” PC, and the previous Supervisors who did that round of “packing,” should for some unexplained reason be sacrosanct and immutable, whereas the Supervisors that the voters actually elected most recently should only rubber-stamp what came before them, and apparently the PC members who were appointed by the most recently elected Supervisors should have no input whatsoever. Sorry, that just ain’t how it works. The previous Supervisors didn’t get the job done, so they don’t get the final say. Laws are made by those who most recently won election and then get the job done before they leave office, not those who were rejected by the voters (or retired) before completing work on those laws. Incidentally, the same could end up being the case for new supervisors replacing the current Supervisors, if the current Supervisors don’t get the job done during their terms, and if so, so be it.

    I’d love to see this thing put to bed, and the sooner the better, so that at least there is some kind of certainty going forward (well, once the threatened lawsuits happen or don’t happen), but there is nothing ethically or procedurally wrong with the current Supervisors reviewing and revising the plan item by item as they have been doing, nor is there anything ethically or procedurally improper about referring parts of it back to their Planning Commissioners for additional hearings and public input, deliberations and draft language. That is all a legitimate, legal part of the democratic process, even if it annoyingly extends the review period, and even if it yields results you don’t happen to like. Again, there is a remedy for that, namely electing different Supervisors if you don’t like what the current ones are doing. That is what the voters did when they elected Bass and booted out Neeley, and that is very explicitly what they did when they elected Fennell and booted out Clendenen. Like it or not, those elections have to be respected, and those elected representatives get to have their say. Again it would obviously be convenient to those who preferred the previous Planning Commission’s draft if the current Supervisors just rubber-stamped what came before them, but that’s not the way it works, not should it be.

  6. MOLA:42 says:

    Anonymous:

    To summarize your long rebuttal: “Who needs a GPU?”

    By your argument then every new BOS should go over everything the OLD BOS has done and change everything to it’s own liking. Is that your idea of Government? When do they get around to doing the business of actually running the County? Or do they?

    Again I and my imaginary allies will stick to our original position: Enough is Enough.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “To summarize your long rebuttal: ‘Who needs a GPU?'”

    That’s a completely inaccurate summary. Yes, we need a GPU. No, that isn’t a good argument for why a draft GPU that was written by appointed Planning Commissioners should be passed without being reviewed and revised by the elected County Supervisors that the majority of voters have chosen to do so. Here’s how it works: Planning Commissioners make recommendations, but it’s the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors to make actual law. it is absolutely their role to review those recommendations and approve, reject, or modify those recommendations as they see fit. That is our guarantee against unelected people making policy — appointees can propose policy, but only our elected officials can finalize anything.

    The simple fact remains that previous Board of Supervisors had not reviewed and held hearings and taken votes on most of the draft GPU, before their term ended, thus it fell to our current Board to take on the task. It is their right, and responsibility, to do so, and telling them that they need to hurry up, because their predecessors were so slow and couldn’t get the job done, makes no sense. Like I said, I, too, would like to see this thing wrapped up sooner rather than later. But you and I were not elected and we aren’t the ones who will be held responsible for the entire content of this massive re-write, 20 years in the making. The Supervisors will be responsible for the entirety of what they vote for, not past Planning Commissioners, not past Supervisors. The buck stops with them, so I don’t blame them for taking the time to go through the whole thing, policy by policy. “Enough is enough” makes for a nice slogan, and it’s an understandable sentiment. But just because their predecessors took decades to move the process to where the BOS was finally just starting their role, doesn’t mean the current BOS should be hasty in performing that role.

  8. MOLA:42 says:

    Anonymous:

    Fair enough… we don’t seem to have much common ground on this one.

    Which is good. You’ve stated your case, I stated mine. Different view points are necessary for a discussion, winners are not.

    Let’s shake hands on this and get ready for the next bout.

  9. Anonymous says:

    OK, and thanks for the discussion. One more point, if you’re interested…and it’s one where there might be at least some common ground between our positions:

    I actually tend to agree that referring large parts of the GPU back to the Planning Commission for further review and discussion and changes at this point is probably neither necessary, nor the best way forward. The BOS certainly does have the right to refer anything they want to the PC, and apparently they may be legally required to refer some parts back (if I understand it correctly, this requirement kicks in wherever they’ve made changes that are substantially different than any of the options previously considered by the PC). But beyond that, I’d rather see the BOS continue forward to complete the hearings, and deliberations and straw votes at the BOS level.

    I didn’t see much in the way of useful new ideas or greater consensus from what they sent back to the PC so far, and in any event the Supervisors will still have to craft the final language, accepting, rejecting, or modifying whatever recommendations they receive from the PC. So I’d rather see them mostly just refer back parts that they may be legally required to refer back to the PC, and otherwise move forward with the Board’s own review, and toward completion of the plan and the final, binding votes.

    As I recall, the Board is actually pretty close to having completed their policy-by-policy review of most of the plan’s elements, and in fact many of the toughest ones are already behind them. And there are at least some signs that the Board is not inclined to let the PC process drag out too long. First of all, if I’m recalling correctly, not just Lovelace, but also Fennell, voted against the Conservation and Open Space element back to the PC. As I recall Fennell’s position was that the BOS should complete their review and revisions, identify any policies that were legally required to go back to the PC and send those to the PC, get the PC’s recommendations on those items, and then have the BOS take the final votes and be done with it. At least I’m pretty sure that’s the path she was advocating for, and that made sense to me. But the other three Supervisors chose to go ahead and send the whole Conservation and Open Space element over to the PC for review, with no restrictions or even guidance on which parts the PC was supposed to review. However, in the most recent article I read, Sundberg seemed to be indicating that he felt the PC process was taking longer than he envisioned, so he may be having second thoughts about sending other whole elements back to the PC (I don’t know if that’s really the case or not, I’m attempting to read the tea leaves a bit here).

    So the “enough is enough” sentiment may be making some headway, at least in terms of it seeming a bit less likely that the BOS will allow the PC review process to drag out for many months (well, I guess we’ll see what actually happens). But as far as the Board’s own review, where they’re continuing to go through the remaining elements that they haven’t yet held BOS-level hearings, deliberations, and straw votes on, my hope is that they move forward with “all deliberate speed.”

    Yes, at the end of that process, they’ll still have to attend to any perceived or actual inconsistencies between different policies, and yes, they may still be legally required to refer some things items back to the PC for one last round of input there, but the sooner the Board completes their part of the work, the sooner the final punchlist of logistical and legal requirements can be taken on, and the sooner the final votes at the BOS level can finally be reached.

  10. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    It was a good meeting attended by a roomful of people who spoke well of the necessity of protecting the environment that provides us with the necessities of life that are required for our survival in a natural world. Only the realtors and builders spoke in favor of less safeguards for the environment and return to the policies that have been in place since 1984. The board agreed to take back the GPU and do their job. But if past experience is any indication, eternal vigilance will be required to get the plan we need to take us into this new century. Our attendance at these meetings will need to continue.

  11. Anonymous says:

    “When Neeley, Lovelace, and Clendenen were the board majority, they put the people they wanted on the PC and for the most part got the language they wanted from it.”

    Except for the numerous public hearings, workshops and study groups.

    It took 27 public hearings to find a consensus on the Guiding Principles.

    How many “straw votes” did these supervisors hold?

  12. Anonymous says:

    “It took 27 public hearings to find a consensus on the Guiding Principles.”

    The funny thing about that is, the process that produced that supposed “consensus,” and the previous Planning Commission’s supposed “consensus” draft of the GPU, turned out to be so deeply unpopular with the voters that in 4 out of the last 5 Supervisorial races those who embraced and defended that process and that plan were defeated by the voters. It’s all fine and well, and jolly good propaganda, to claim you have a “consensus,” but it’s kinda hard to make that case when clearly there are plenty who disagree. That makes it, kind of by definition, not a consensus.

  13. Anonymous says:

    So, Neely, Lovelace, and Clendenen didn’t need to have all those workshops and study groups because they won their elections??

    Interesting “logic”.

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